1792: The Beginning
RCL Benziger’s rich history begins in 1792 when Joseph Charles Benziger began selling devotional books in the small Swiss town of Einsiedeln, a monastic and Marian pilgrimage center from the tenth century. Within a few decades, Benziger became one of the largest and most distinguished publishers in Switzerland. When lithography was invented, Joseph’s sons, Nicholas and Charles, established the first major holy card printing business using that process.
1853: New York City and Beyond
In 1853, the first Benziger printing house opened in New York City selling religious books in Polish, German, and English. Reaching out to rural American Catholic families, the Benziger sales wagon brought Bibles and prayer books to communities up and down the Ohio River. The Holy See conferred on the firm the title “Printers to the Holy Apostolic See” in 1867, and “The Pontifical Institute of Christian Art” in 1888.
In 1968, Macmillan/McGraw Hill School Publishing Co. Inc., acquired Benziger, and in 1971, it merged with two other companies—Bruce publishing, founded in Milwaukee in the 1890’s, and Glencoe Press, established in Beverly Hills in 1966.
In 2007, CFM Publishing purchased the Benziger name and product line from McGraw Hill and merged with Texas-based Catholic publisher RCL—Resources for Christian Living—to form RCL Benziger. Richard Leach, Catholic entrepreneur and founder, dedicated RCL’s resources to publishing innovative, high-quality products for religious education and faith formation. That same year, RCL Benziger acquired the assets of long-standing Silver Burdett Ginn Religion. The combination of all three catechetical publishing companies resulted in a single publisher that provides unparalleled materials and services for the Catholic faith community.
In 2016, Dubuque, Iowa-based Kendall Hunt Publishing Company acquired RCL Benziger, joining two leaders in the K-12 publishing industry. Family owned and operated, Kendall Hunt was previously part of William C. Brown that published religious education materials for the Catholic faith, starting with The Archdiocese of Chicago in the early 1970s, before expanding throughout the United States in the 1980s under the name Brown ROA.
The acquisition by Kendall Hunt continues on a long tradition of providing supreme resources to the Catholic community. This strategic milestone in the two legacy brands’ combined history of more than 289 years allows for strong Catholic traditions to carry into our future.
RCL Benziger: Premier Catholic Publishing
Today, Cincinnati-based RCL Benziger is a Catholic publisher known for its pioneering multimedia product offerings. The major provider offers religious education programs for Catholic dioceses, parishes, schools, families, and individuals, including bilingual and special needs resources. RCL Benziger publishes materials for all Catholic faith formation needs, including sacramental preparation, family life, and catechist and adult faith formation.
Our Mission Statement
RCL Benziger is a team of resourceful and creative people dedicated to providing the Catholic community with the highest quality products, programs, and services which are rooted in the Christian faith. We are customer focused and committed to enriching the lives of individuals, families, and communities worldwide. We value integrity, respectful collaboration, enthusiasm, and sound business principles.